Exploring the impact of metabolic imaging in head and neck cancer treatment.
BACKGROUND: Target volume delineation is performed with anatomical imaging for head and neck cancer. Molecular imaging allows the recognition of specific tumor regions. Its inclusion in the pathway could lead to changes in delineation and resultant treatment plans. METHODS: PRISMA methodology was adhered to when selecting the articles for analysis and only full articles were quality assessed. RESULTS: Seventeen articles were included. Gross tumor volume (GTV) primary, GTV nodal, and other target volumes were evaluated. Positron emission tomography/computerized tomography (PET/CT) produced smaller primary GTVs, although not with diffusion-weighted imaging-magnetic resonance imaging (DWI-MRI) or PET/MRI. The impact of these image modalities on GTV nodal did not display any consistency. Additionally, there was considerable heterogeneity in metrics comparing delineations. Four studies included appraised the dosimetric impact of the changes in target volume delineation. CONCLUSION: Quantifying the impact of molecular imaging is difficult, due to heterogeneity in reporting metrics in molecular imaging modalities and a paucity of detail regarding delineation method and guideline adherence.
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